Remember the first time you saw or used an ATM? Was that the coolest thing ever or what? You mean I can get cash from my bank account even though the bank is closed?! I don’t have to wait in a drive-thru lane or teller line?!
On September 2, 1969, the first ATM in the U.S, the “Docuteller”, was installed in a wall of the Chemical Bank in Rockville Centre, New York. It marked the first time reusable, magnetically coded cards were used to withdraw cash.
That’s how I felt when my brother – the early tech adopter in our family – introduced me to my first ATM sometime in the mid-1980s. I was hundreds of miles from home, needed some cash, and it was a Sunday. No grocery or drug store was open where I could get cash back. He drove me to the branch of a nationwide bank, and showed me how the rarely used ATM card in my wallet could get that cash. It cost me a few dollars in fees, but I’ve been hooked ever since.
Now I work for the company that is helping celebrate the 50th anniversary – that’s right, five zero – of the world's first installation of an automated cash dispenser -- later known as an Automated Teller Machine – at Barclays Bank’s Enfield branch in London on June 17, 1967.
To start a year’s worth of activities to mark the anniversary, the ATM Industry Association (ATMIA) introduced last week the official international industry logo for the anniversary. Cardtronics is the global sponsor of the celebration and the design of the logo.
“ATMIA is exceptionally pleased with this beautiful design by Networld Media Group,” said Mike Lee, ATMIA CEO. “Its striking elegance will do the ATM Industry proud.” Lee also thanks Cardtronics for its “generous global sponsorship of this logo and the 50th celebration, which belongs to the worldwide ATM community.”
The ATM was invented by John Shepherd-Barron and his team at De La Rue Instruments Ltd. – spurring a fundamental shift in banking. Today, there are over three million ATMs worldwide, many of which can perform more than 200 different kinds of transactions. According to an ATMIA historical perspective, “At the time of its invention, the ATM was an unproven device which people didn’t even know they needed, far less would come to rely on. It has subsequently revolutionized society and helped bring about the 24/7 self-service culture we know today with its convenient access to financial services beyond banking hours, such as cash withdrawals, balance enquiries and a growing range of value-added services.”
Well, it only took my first ATM experience to know I was always going to need and rely on one to be close by. And now I get to help the largest ATM owner / operator do that for the world.
Susannah Moore Griffin
Corporate Communications Manager